Stories are a magical way to bond with your children — here are our top tips on how to enjoy audiobooks with kids
Books are a gift — regardless of the medium. They allow us to explore fictional worlds, get to know new people and question the way we think and perceive the world around us. While it is, of course, important to get kids to read books, audiobooks are experiencing unprecedented levels of popularity. More people than ever are listening to audiobooks and waking up to the benefits of listening to stories as we work, drive, and work out. And there are a lot of parents who are using audiobooks to bond with their kids — while encouraging a love for literature.
So you can get the most out of audiobooks with your kids, we have outlined our top tips and recommendations below.
1. Know Your Kids’ Taste
As with reading, your kid will only become truly invested and interested if the subject at hand grabs their attention. Work with your kid’s tastes. What genres do they enjoy? Are they into Harry Potter or do they prefer Goosebumps? Do they like their classics, or do they like stories that rhyme? No matter what your kid is into, you can find an audiobook that suits them. Of course, you can make recommendations and suggestions but remember to take their lead when it comes to audiobook selection.
2. Enjoy an Audiobook on a Road Trip
One way to make long road trips more bearable is to enjoy a shared activity. We all know how bored kids can get in the car. Rather than answering the “Are we there yet?” question for the fiftieth time, spend the time listening to a story the whole family can enjoy.
There’s a lot to be said about enjoying a story together. While most of us love to read independently, we also enjoy sharing our favorite stories with others. But with an audiobook, you get to enjoy your loved one’s reactions in real-time. You experience a story alongside them, creating memories along the way. Make it a tradition to pick out an audiobook before a long road trip and before long, they’ll become something to look forward to rather than dread.
3. Discuss the Plot and Characters with Your Kid
Reading is great for our kids. It develops their empathy; it exposes them to new vocabulary and improves their critical thinking skills. One way to help along their critical thinking is to explore the story with them. Ask questions — talk to your kids about the characters, their mannerisms, the way they speak, and why they react the way they do. Ask your children whether they would have responded in the same way, whether they think it was right or wrong. You can also discuss the plot and ask your kids if it reminds them of any other stories, which will help them to contrast and compare different fictions — a skill that will come in handy later in life when they are studying literature.
4. Know When to Give up on an Audiobook
Not every audiobook will be a winner. Some audiobooks won’t be a hit with your kid, for a number of reasons. Maybe your kid doesn’t like the narrator, perhaps they don’t like the language used, or they aren’t a fan of the plot. Whatever the case, learn to cut your losses. If your kid is losing interest, simply flick over to the next audiobook. You don’t want your child to lose interest in stories entirely.
5. Read along with a Physical Book at Bedtime
Nighttime is a great time to enjoy a story with your kid. To encourage their reading skills, you can read along with a physical book. Just ensure the story is word-for-word the same, to avoid confusion. This is something J. K. Rowling insisted on when Harry Potter was narrated. Every single word had to be the same, so her fans could read along.
Independence is a trait we want to nurture in our little ones. Start by letting them pick out their audiobooks. You can sit down with your kid and dedicate some time to creating an audiobook playlist full of stories they are excited to explore.
7. Find the Right Device
You need to find the right device to listen to audiobooks — and not all speakers and music players are created equal. You want a sturdy, long-lasting speaker that will engage your children and give them a degree of control. You might also want to find a screen-free solution. If this is the case, you will want to get to know Jooki, the best music player for kids. Jooki is waterproof, easily transportable, and popular with kids of all ages. The colorful tokens and figurines are always a hit — buy our music player on Amazon today and begin your Jooki adventure.
Jooki has put together a number of incredible Spotify playlists featuring our favorite kids stories. Settle down with your kid today, relax, and enjoy an adventure together.